Richi Jennings

Phew! U.S. regains #1 supercomputer spot in Top500.

June 18, 2012 6:10 AM EDT

There's relief at hand for nationalistic HPC-watchers. The latest Top500 list shows the U.S. back at #1, after trailing various Asian supercomputers. IBM's (NYSE:IBM) latest installation for the mushroom-cloud-computing folks at Lawrence Livermore is to blame, but Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) vows to catch up soon. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers ask if it can run Crysis.
Sequoia rack
By Richi Jennings: Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: How to retrofy your Mac...
 
 
Mikael Ricknäs prefers his näme to be spelled right:

the U.S. Department of Energy's...Sequoia's 1.57 million processor cores can perform 16.32 petaflops. ... Sequoia is...powered by [IBM] Power BQC 16-core processors running at 1.6GHz. It runs Linux.
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The latest list is a big win for the U.S. But it also marks a return of European systems. ... Europe has more supercomputers in the top ten than any other continent. ... Germany's SuperMUC [is] capable of 2.9 petaflops. ... In fourth place, it is the highest-placed system on the list to use Intel processors.
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IBM and Hewlett-Packard continue to sell the bulk of the systems...[in] the Top500.    M0RE

   
Naveena Kottoor speaks speed unto nation:

The newly installed system trumped Japan's K Computer...which fell to second place. ... Sequoia will be used to carry out simulations...of aging nuclear weapons, avoiding the need for real-world...tests. ... Sequoia consumes 7.9 megawatts compared to the K computer which uses 12.6.
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The list is published every six months by...Professor Hans Meuer and...Professor Jack Dongarra. ... The first computer to take the top position...was the CM-5/1024 in 1993. ... Sequoia is 273,930 times faster.    M0RE


Robert McMillan has more mind-blowing stats:

Livermore’s Sequoia supercomputer weighs about the same as 30 elephants, and it can do...16.3 quadrillion...calculations per second.
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Sequoia was built by IBM...but Intel is now cooking up a new processor that’s specially made for supercomputers...named Xeon Phi...[it] will have more than 50 processor cores and should be capable of doing 1 trillion calculations per second.
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Intel...sees this as a high-growth area...as more and more companies start using supercomputer-type programming for...financial modeling...movie-making...oil and gas exploration [etc.]    M0RE


And Jon Brodkin adds yet more:

[The] newly assembled cluster built with IBM hardware at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory...[spreads] 96 racks, 98,304 compute nodes...and 1.6 petabytes of memory across 4,500 square feet.
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The system is capable of hitting more than 20 petaflops. ... It’s primarily cooled by water running through tiny copper pipes encircling the node cards. Each [of which] holds 32 chips, with each...having 16 cores.
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Compute Node Linux is run on nearly 98,000 nodes, and Red Hat...runs on 768 I/O nodes. ... Sequoia uses IBM’s proprietary 5D Torus...an optical network that provides 40 Gbps throughput. ... I/O nodes are connected to the file system via Infiniband and the management network uses Ethernet.    M0RE.


Meanwhile, Sean Buckley reminds us why it's here:

Sequoia will help the [National Nuclear Security Administration] keep the US nuclear stockpile stable without resorting to nuclear testing; more computers, [fewer] explosions. We can't think of a better thing to do with 98,304 compute nodes, 1.6 million cores and 1.6 petabytes of memory spread across 96 racks -- can you?    M0RE

   
And Finally...
How to retrofy your Mac

[hat tip: Chris Gullo]